It’s just a great issue

Publisher: Image
Writer: Pornsak Pichetshote
Artist: Alexandre Tefenkgi
Colourist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Jeff Powell

I’ve found writing this review difficult. Not because the book isn’t good, on the contrary it is excellent, but that’s the problem. If you haven’t been reading The Good Asian then why not? It’s one of the best crime books I have read for a long time. If you have been reading it then you already know how brilliant it is and this review won’t make much difference to you. However, it is a fantastic book so I will sing its praises again.

I realise you are probably tired of me saying this book gets better with every issue but honestly it does. This is the penultimate issue and there is a lot going on here. We get a lot more information about the central mystery but there are still plenty of surprises in store and we’re not given all the answers quite yet, even as Edison and Lucy inch ever closer. Like any good puzzle we see how a lot of the pieces fit together but the overall picture is not yet complete.

As usual though what is great about this book is that the mystery is only one part of it. This is a book that looks at identity and identity has been a key part of both the central mystery and Edison Hark’s investigations. Here it really weaves deeply through the book. We finally get some more background on Edison. His mother has been a presence in his life, as we have been able to gather, but we’ve not known much about his father. In this issue we finally get to see his father. It’s a brief appearance but a very powerful one as it underlines so much of Hark’s identity. His mother pushed him toward the Carroways, we know that. What we didn’t know was what his father thought of America.

Edison Hark is forced to confront his identity in some literal ways. He’s wearing bandages in much of this issue, due to the aftermath of the explosion at the factory and his escape. Those bandages hide his appearance but they also hide him from himself. When those bandages come off the art is just perfect. It’s like we get a glimpse from Edison Harks perspective. The black background but with the hint of his eyes looking out at his reflection gives us some sense of his own reflection.

In fact the way the art deals with the main protagonist wearing bandages is also very clever. There’s the juxtaposition of the blinds and the bandages as Edison looks out at the safe hours. There’s the way the shadows of the blinds cast shadows on the bandages, the interlacing of shadows and bandages, both different ways of concealing and hiding.

There are loads of little art details to linger on and look at again. An ant crawling onto Edison Harks hand and the way he flicks it away. A watch in the palm of his hand as he and Lucy talk, as the time they are waiting for inches ever closer. There’s plenty to absorb with the art and I love that. So much time and care is taken and it serves the story so well.

There’s also some rather tense action moments but I don’t want to spoil them too much as they are sort of plot relevant. I will say though that I audibly gasped and, well it is a cliché to say I was on the edge of my seat, but I genuinely was. There are still so many surprises and even when you have worked out some of the plot something else will come along and throw your theories out of the window and that’s great because there’s nothing more interesting than having your assumptions challenged.

Edison Hark gets his assumptions challenged by Lucy. She’s been really great throughout all her appearances. There’s so much to admire about her. She’s probably the most sympathetic character and yet you have to respect her too. Her experiences are very different to Edison Hark’s, and similar to that of many immigrants. Edison has hidden himself by choice in some ways, certainly this issue some of it is his choice. Lucy on the other hand had to hide by necessity when she took on the dangerous task of investigation.

I know every issue I mention the colouring but damn it’s just so good. The purples, blues and teal blues work really well in the scenes with Hark and Lucy. The bursts of different colour when there’s a flashback or action really make those moments stand out. It’s just a visual pleasure to read through the book. The colour might seem in the background sometimes but it really helps with the overall tone.

Plus the lettering is also really good.

As this is the penultimate issue of The Good Asian you’ve probably been reading the rest. If you have you will not be disappointed here. If you haven’t, then catch up now ready for the final issue. This was a really excellent penultimate issue. There was tension, character insight and more. We’re in for a heck of a finale.

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